Categories
culture

On Moral Machines and Embodied Biases

Context: The Appearance of Robots Affects Our Perception of the Morality of Their Decisions Curious: “People consider moral decisions made by humanoid robots to be less ethically sound than when another human or traditional-looking robot makes the same decision.” The uncanny valley rides again. This is a particular instance of a general principle. The apperception […]

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Philosophy

Can Robots possess Legal Rights?

Context: Experts Sign Open Letter Slamming Europe’s Proposal to Recognise Robots as Legal Persons Robots might be a bit of a stretch for asserting personhood although it does remain somewhat indistinct as to where and when awareness, experience or sentience arise in recognisably “living” things. We may (following, at a distance, something I once read […]

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Philosophy

Narrative Predestination

I read “Lord of the Rings” twice at age 9. I imagine this must have had some kind of formative downstream consequence for my own cognitive grammar, conceptual vocabulary and integrated perception of those grander narratives and historical tides within which we all must necessarily learn to swim if we are to survive and thrive […]

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Philosophy

If my life was a novel…

“In the end, we all become stories.” – Margaret Atwood My life would not be a book so much as it would be a box of scattered paper fragments. Each fragment containing a narrow aperture on the life and experience or learning I have undergone. Each narrow aperture, a window on a moment and a […]

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Philosophy

Creativity is Intelligence

Creativity is indeed a sign or marker of intelligence. There are many kinds of intelligence, though, and creative intelligence is as often shunned as celebrated. This represents something of an intractable enigma: the creative insights upon which innovation, technological metamorphosis and revelatory insight so foundationally depend simultaneously represent something of a psychological challenge and existential […]

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Philosophy

Social Media: Lies and Gullibility

Context: Social media users more likely to believe misinformation The adoption of a “social” communications technology walks hand in hand with the suspension of disbelief as to the veracity of curated information broadcast on that channel; a wilful or semi-unconscious cognitive entrapment as progressive desensitisation to serial falsehoods. This may have taken a particular shape […]

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Philosophy

Ignorance as Enemy of Knowledge

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Stephen Hawking …and yet, how often is ignorance really little more than the illusion of knowledge? We can quite easily  observe (very many) belief systems masquerading as factual, informed knowledge in all spheres of human life. Scientific knowledge is a […]

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Philosophy

Global Development as Road to Peace?

As a species, we find it difficult to step beyond competitive biases into authentically (and sustainably) collaborative behaviours oriented towards Global development. The rank antitheses of adversarial conflict and shared sense of community (as self-identity) are so deeply entangled in our histories, our cultures, our linguistic assumptions and our psychological experience that effective and enduring […]

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Philosophy

Creative Entropy

Creativity requires entropy, novelty, the unexpected. We invoke new things, new concepts and new realities as a function of our experience of difference and diversity, of randomness. Brains rapidly desensitise to repetition and this is why it is a foundationally important property of any environment to possess or manifest a threshold of uncontrolled, unbounded or […]

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Philosophy

Facebook is Dangerous

Context: Facebook blocks Australian users from viewing or sharing news I have not used Facebook for years and it is not at all missed. It says a lot for just how rapidly and reflexively people come to depend on the integrated communications systems of “social networks” that the threat of removing access to algorithmically-shaped biases […]

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Philosophy

Empty Universes of Endless Self-inflection

When we trade in Universals or concepts of substantive reality, we are engaging concepts of notionally “whole” or “complete” systems. The curious thing about any “totality” or aspirationally “complete” system is that there is no outside to that entity, no external conditions or properties. Everything is internal to that system. Why does this matter? Because […]

Categories
culture

AI: Dispatches from a metal mind

Relatively recent and unexpected career changes have found me up to my armpits in the swiftly-flowing waters and complex technologies of machine learning and artificial intelligence. I am utterly fascinated by the many and diverse ways in which we seek to replicate our own cognition and even while we must at some level know that […]